Alistair Overeem doesn't have the best reputation among MMA fans and competitors. Perhaps it's due to the PED issues, his problems with being on a team, his general arrogant persona or a combination of all three.
But as the saying goes, everyone deserves a second chance. Count Travis Browne among those who feel that way. Speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Browne had some words for the former Strikeforce champ.
I think everybody's due a chance. Just because he wasn't the best teammate there, doesn't mean he can't be a good teammate here. When he comes to Jackson's, the stuff that all his other teammates were saying he did, is not going to fly at Jackson's.
Browne didn't say that he or his teammates would take care of things internally, but rather that head coach Greg Jackson wouldn't let "The Reem" get away with it.
"If he says, 'Hey, Coach, I'm going to bring my own guys and work out at night,' Coach Jackson will be like, 'You can either train with the team, or you can leave.'"
What Browne is alluding to is the increasingly volatile situation that occurred near the end of Overeem's tenure with the vaunted "Blackzilian" team. Overeem would bring in his own coaches, curtain off his practices and generally kept to himself.
Former teammate Gilbert Burns also accused Overeem of deliberately injuring a teammate after being on the losing end of a sparring session.
Browne finished his message with some strong words for The Reem.
You're either part of the team or your not. If you're not part of the team, you can get the hell out out of here. We don't need you here. We didn't ask you to come here, you asked to come here, so you see something here that you need. So, you're either part of the team, or leave.
It's a firm stance that will likely be shared by almost everyone at Jackson's MMA. Although the camp had an ugly situation come about between Jon Jones and Rashad Evans, the gym boasts a "family-like" atmosphere among its members.
That's why it seemed odd that Overeem would choose to call Jackson's MMA home. Overeem, for one reason or another, has always marched to the beat of his own drum. He had an ugly falling-out with Golden Glory that involved quite a bit of legal action, and then there's the Blackzilians situation.
There will also be some awkwardness at first, as two of the heavyweights Overeem has faced recently, Browne and Frank Mir, both train under the Jackson's MMA banner.
Overeem recently ended a two-fight losing skid by defeating Mir at UFC 169. The fight wasn't received well by MMA fans, but it was a clear victory for The Reem. To his credit, Overeem was in clear control prior to losing his fights against Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva and Browne as well.
He's always had all of the talent in the world but hasn't displayed the mental game necessary to become a champion inside the Octagon. Perhaps Overeem can find that and a permanent home at Jackson's MMA.